Organization's "no Santa" policy upsets some - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Organization's "no Santa" policy upsets some

By Daniel Hight - bio | email | Facebook

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Santa Claus may be banned for some students in North Mississippi.

Head Start, a federally-funded program that targets underprivileged children, said banning Santa is an effort to be respectful of all cultures.

An interdepartmental memo from Virda Lee to Head Start employees said, " please do not invite Santa to your center."

Head Start representative Fannie Lampley said the memo was a reminder of a current protocol.

"We don't condone having Santa in our place, that is not what we do," said Lampley.  "She wanted to make sure every center director understood this directive."

DeSoto County Board of Directors heard complaints from constituents about the policy.  Bill Russell told the Commercial Appeal, "there may not be anything to it, but I want to know what the details are.  This may affect my willingness to fund money for them.  That's just the way I am."

Lampley said the program is themed for "winder wonderland," and the no-Santa policy is for the curriculum.

"If I stay with that curriculum, I don't stray into conversations we're not a part of," said Lampley.

DeSoto County Supervisor Allen Latimer told the Commercial Appeal he was frustrated.

"We have an American culture," said Latimer.  "And every time we turn around, it gets chipped away and chipped away, and I'm getting tired of it."

Supervisor Bill Russell said he did not want to comment until the Board of Directors meets with Head Start next week.

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